Back to the Prayerbook: The Litany of Thanksgiving


When asked to choose a prayer with which to close their Sunday School class each week, a group of fifth graders surprised and delighted me by choosing to pray the “Litany of Thanksgiving” (BCP 836-837).  We don’t say it in church often:  usually on Thanksgiving itself, and perhaps on a major parish anniversary or milestone.  On the cold morning last year when I heard a group of nine and ten year olds take turns with the call and response of the litany, I was taken aback.

“For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea,” they said.

We thank you, Lord.


“For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,

We thank you, Lord.”

The Prayerbook invites us to use “A Litany of Thanksgiving” in place of the Prayers of the People during Eucharistic worship.  It works well in a devotional setting, too.  As the days remain cold and the wind remains biting, the litany is as encouraging as any prayer I know.  If it rings hollow when I pray it by myself, I just might find a group of nine and ten year olds, and pray it along with them.

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